I first heard about yogic eye movements through watching Swami Ram Dev. For those of you who have not heard of him, he is an excellent Yoga Teacher in India who is working towards creating a disease free society in a medicine free world. He is huge in India and literally worshipped by his audiences for his clear guidance on wellbeing and yoga teachings. For every pranayama and yogasana, he will tell you exactly how to do it and what the benefits are.
I was watching him in action one day where a member of his audience came up to the mike and explained how he has short sightedness and after practicing the pranayams I am about to go through, he strengthened his eyes and no longer needs to wear glasses. It took him 4 years of constant practice though. (I love this about many native Indians that I have come across – when they put their minds to something, they really follow it through. They don’t let anything else get in the way. They seem to have real discipline which is greatly admirable.)
Anyway back to the eyes, there are certain moves you can do very easily to strengthen your eyes and the muscles around them. A note of caution though, do not do any of these pranayamas if your eyes are damaged in anyway other than a visionary problem. Consult your Opthalmologist if you are unsure.
Eye Pressing– benefitial for the sight of the eyes. Use your muscles around your eyes to press shut your eyes tightly. Maintain this pressure for a few seconds and then release and relax the eyes as much as possible. Do this in sequences of 10.
Near and Distant Objects – stand near a window and hold your index finger out from the right hand an inch or two away from the nose. Look at your finger for 3 seconds and then shift your gaze to a predetermined very distant object for three seconds. Repeat this 30 times.
Movement from left to right and right to left – move the eyes all the way to the right and then all the way to the left and reverse. Don’t move your head, just your eyes. Do it at a comfortable pace – not too fast and not too slow. Repeat this 10 times.
Movement upwards and downwards– The same as above but just all the way up and all the way down. Try to keep evyerthing else still and just move your eyes. Repeat this 10 times.
Upwards and left and right – move the eyes to the corner of the left side and then to the corner of the right side. Repeat this 10 times.
Move the eyes in a circular motion– first clockwise and then anticlockwise. Don’t work too hard, you can strain yourself. Be gentle with this and all of the others mentioned. Continue each circular motion 10 times.
How often? Well you can do around three sets of sequences a day for a really good result. Or as much as time allows you. Regular practice will give you better results as always.
All of these moves have been taken from the book – Yoga – Yogasana and Pranayama For Health by Dr P D Sharma. I would recommend this book – it is great. It is quite complicated in some areas so not ideal if you are a beginner at yoga. Plus it has the real terms for every yogic move which are very long words that are difficult to remember. Great for those of you who already have some knowledge though.
After writing the bit above, I put eye yoga into a search engine and found all of the above explained by Paul McCartney!!!! So here is Paul’s version of the above: